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Harper Road council flat filled with blue crystals

London SE1 website team

A council flat on a derelict section of the Lawson Estate has been taken over by artist Roger Hiorns who has filled the space with copper sulphate crystals.

Harper Road council flat filled with blue crystals
The walls of the derelict flat are lined with blue copper sulphate crystals
Seizure by Roger Hiorns
Visitors step into the tank via this doorway
Seizure by Roger Hiorns
From the outside it is clear where the tank has been inserted
Seizure by Roger Hiorns
Seizure is set within a condemned low-rise block between Harper Road and Symington House on the Lawson Estate

The installation, called Seizure, opens to the public on Wednesday 3 September and will remain in place for two months.

Southwark Council provided use of the block which is awaiting demolition. The site is earmarked as one of the locations for new homes for Heygate Estate residents as part of the Elephant & Castle regeneration process.

Visitors to Seizure are provided with wellies and gloves before they step in to the tank that has been inserted into one of the derelict flats.

"We cut through from the floor above," explains Roger Hiorns. "A lot of engineering is inside that tank.

"We filled it up with 90,000 litres of boiling hot copper sulphate solution and then watched it go. That was the simplicity of it."

Three weeks later the tank was drained and a door inserted to allow visitors to step in to the crystal-lined space.

Hiorns, who used to have a studio in Long Lane before Empire Square was built, is no stranger to Southwark. He says that the isolated building seemed perfect for his project.

Seizure can be visited free of charge daily except Monday from Wednesday 3 September to Sunday 2 November.

Related events include a cycle tour of public art in Southwark and a talk entitled A Beginner's Guide to Crystals. Three further talks take place in October at the Jerwood Space in Union Street.

The work was selected through the Jerwood/Artangel Open, a new commissioning initiative for the arts, which was launched two years ago in association with Channel 4 and Arts Council England

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